LP SmartSide Cost vs. Natural Wood Siding in 2021

Updated on July 21st, 2021

How does natural wood siding stack up against LP SmartSide, the most popular engineered wood siding?

LP Smartside siding on a house
LP Smartside siding on a house

There are several important points of comparison – maintenance, durability, and appearance among them – but we’ll start with the bottom line: Cost. The rest of the factors are covered in pros and cons below.

LP SmartSide Cost vs. Wood Siding Comparison

Engineered wood siding such as LP SmartSide is generally less expensive than natural wood siding. On average, you can expect to pay between $8.50 to $14.00 per sq.ft. for LP Smartside composite siding vs. $10.00 to $15.50 for a premium natural wood siding fully installed. This translates to an average difference of $1.00-$1.50 per sq.ft. between the two.

Average Cost To Install Wood Siding Typical Range: $10,230 - $15,360
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Did you know? Many online LP SmartSide cost estimates are lower than what should be reasonably expected. It appears they simply take the cost per square foot of LP SmartSide, which can be as low as $2.50 per square foot and multiply it by the square feet of siding needed.

A somewhat random labor cost is added, and a total estimate is given. Estimating an LP SmartSide job that way fails to consider the many variables such as tear off and removal of old siding, supplies needed such as trim, wrap, building permits, professional warrantied installation, etc. and these costs can add up quickly.

LP SmartSide trim, for example, costs about $1.00 per linear foot and can add $500-$800 to the total job cost. Fasteners, construction glue, flashing, caulk and extra saw blades are among the accessories needed to complete the job.

Cost Factors

Every job is different. Where on the cost spectrum your siding project falls depends on these variables.

Specific material: LP SmartSide ranges in price from about $2.00/sq. ft. for siding planks to about $4.00/sq. ft. for textured cedar shake siding, an increase of 100%.

Average Cost To Install LP Siding Typical Range: $9,210 - $13,750
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Some homeowners don’t use any of the more expensive shake-look siding. A few homes use it exclusively. Most often, shake siding is used in gables and other select places to provide architectural interest.

In terms of wood, pine plank siding is the least costly. Cedar is most popular and in the middle of the cost range. Redwood siding costs the most.

Each type of wood is available in a range of grades too such as Clear or Heart (top grade), Select, A, B, C, Rustic and more. Each type has a slightly different grading system. The higher the grade, the costlier the siding.

The shape of the house: There is more material waste on homes with 6+ corners and complex design.

Installation difficulty: Labor costs are the biggest variable in engineered siding jobs. In term of complexity, installation takes longer on homes with a higher number of corners and architectural variations, so labor costs can be 50% higher. Installation above the first story adds about 35% to the labor cost.

This home includes material and labor factors that put the total cost near at the upper end of the range.

Where you live: Cost of living can swing installation prices up to 40%. Rural areas of the South and Midwest have the lowest costs. They are highest in major metropolitan areas on the Coasts. The rest of the country falls into the average range.

Who does the work: DIY installation costs nothing beyond the materials, accessories and specialized tools required.

Pro installation ranges from using an unlicensed handyman service at the low end to allowing a designer or builder to hire the installer while charging you a general contractor (GC) fee. 😉

Pro Tip: You’ll get the best combination of quality installation, pricing and peace of mind when you work directly with contractors that are experienced, licensed and insured.

Get several estimates from licensed contractors, and don’t be afraid to ask to see their current license and liability coverage.

Ask about the experience of the crew that will install your wood or engineered siding. Check Yelp and Google reviews, the BBB, and other sources. Hire a contractor with consistently good reviews and an experienced crew.

Did you know? LP SmartSide might not warranty its siding where you live!

LP SmartSide includes wax-coated wood strands at its core. The presence of wood raises a red flag. Moisture is the enemy of any material that contains wood.

Because some areas of the country receive so much rainfall and have high humidity levels, LP Building Products, the maker of SmartSide siding, does not warranty its products in these regions: Alaska, Hawaii, Northern California north of 1-80, and west of the Cascades in Washington, Oregon, and California.

If you live in one of these areas, it’s likely that your local building material suppliers won’t stock LP SmartSide or other engineered wood products.

In all other regions, SmartSide carries a 50-year warranty including the first five years of 100% coverage before the warranty starts being pro-rated through the rest of the coverage period.

Does Natural Wood Siding Come with a Warranty?

No, it does not. The producers don’t provide any warranty because they sell bare wood and have no control over how it is installed and finished. If it is not properly finished, warping, cracking, rotting and discoloration can begin in the first year.

Though the manufacturers don’t warranty the wood, whoever installs and finishes the wood with stain and sealer, or primer and paint should give you a warranty of at least 1 year on the workmanship. Some offer two years.

The materials applied will have their own warranty against manufacturing defects for 10-20 years. The warranty doesn’t cover normal wear and weathering, so the wood will require repainting or staining long before the warranty period expires.

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How to Clean Vinyl or Fiber Cement Siding – Costs – Maintaining New Siding

Updated on July 19th, 2021

Wouldn’t it be great if you’re new vinyl or fiber cement siding could stay new forever? Well, with proper maintenance and regular cleaning, it sure can look that way.

The Problem

Getting dirty, that’s the problem. Okay, that’s a bit simplistic. The elements that lead to dirty siding, be it vinyl or fiber cement, are numerous. It also depends on what’s on your property or type of work you may do on your property near your home. The common notable problems are:

  • dirt and yard debris blowing or splashing onto the siding
  • pollen floating in the wind and sticking to your siding
  • bird or critter droppings
  • spider webs
  • mildew
  • and all sorts of chemicals that may result from work done near or around your house

Addressing the Problem – The Basics

Let’s assume you care enough to maintain your siding on an annual basis. Depending on where you live, twice a year would be ideal. Either way, the steps are about the same. It’s as simple as:

1. Inspect the siding – walk around the home, get a feel for what areas need special attention, make note of that. If it’s been awhile since you’re last cleaning, don’t skip this step.

2. Devise a plan of action – Here’s where Fixing the Problem(s) noted below comes in. A basic cleaning is just that and if that’s all that your siding needs, then you can skip this step.

However, if there are troubled spots, then take time to decide how you’ll tackle things. Also take a few moments to determine what on your property could use covering up, such as nearby flower beds or gardens and any brick or stone siding you might have in addition to your vinyl / fiber cement siding.

3. Get ‘er done – Execute the plan. The basic cleaning involves removing what you can with a brush, then sudsing everything up, followed by a thorough rinsing and a final wiping. Sometimes though, more is needed.

Fixing the Problem – Beyond the Basics

The materials for any cleaning are fairly simple. This includes:

  • a brush of some sort (they make siding brushes)
  • cleaning solution
  • water (of course)
  • ladder(s)
  • cloths (plural) – one for cleaning with the solution, and one, or ten for wiping it dry
  • plastic drop cloths and tape to seal off anything you don’t want to get wet and sprayed with cleaning solution
  • optionally a pressure washer to apply water and cleaning solution. Note though that misusing a pressure washer by applying too much pressure could void warranties for your siding.

via Yawata Company

The cleaning solution is obviously the key to bringing out the color of your siding and restoring it to a like-new condition. The simplest solution is a mixture of 70% water and 30% vinegar. This works for both vinyl and fiber cement.

Average Cost To Install New Siding Typical Range: $5,240 - $8,130
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